If Sons of Anarchy is true to its source (Shakespeare’s Hamlet), then Tara, who is Ophelia to Jax’s Hamlet, should end up following Ophelia’s destiny—to madness and death. Of course, Sons of Anarchy hasn’t been particularly attentive to fidelity to Hamlet as the last six seasons have unfolded, so Shakespeare may not provide a definitive guide to what is yet to come on SoA. Still, “Huang Wu,” episode 10 of season six, shows us a Tara who is starting to unravel (and “Let her unravel,” suggests a far from sympathetic Gemma) in multiple ways, following the complete unravelling in the previous episode of her plot to escape from Charming with her sons, leaving Jax, Gemma, and the rest of the gang behind.
She catches Jax having sex (or, as Nero cheerfully describes Jax’s relationship with Collette to Gemma, “working out his mommy issues”) with Collette; she backs over Juice’s motorcycle; complains to Wendy that “Everything I did was right,” which is kind of crazy comment in and of itself, as Tara’s plan to frame Gemma for causing her miscarriage was hardly doing everything right. If she had done everything right, her plotting wouldn’t have come unravelled so quickly.
The two best parts of the episode for me were:
1) The appearance of Keone Young as Chinese bad guy Bohai Lin. Yes, yet another Deadwood actor (Young played Mr. Wu) makes his way onto Sons of Anarchy, joining Kim Dickens (Collette/Joanie Stubbs) and Dayton Callie (Unser/Charlie Utter) as three Deadwood actors playing good supporting roles in this episode.
2) And speaking of Dayton Callie, the scenes between Unser and Nero, including an awkward car ride where Nero tries to make small talk, were priceless. And Jimmy Smits as Nero had a particularly good episode—his sometimes sardonic, sometimes witty, sometimes kind of sweet, comments were the highlight. He’s become the chorus of the series this season, sometimes participating in the action, but really both Smits and the character Nero are at their best not when participating but when commenting about what’s going on.
This was an episode without man hugs, but there were some other notable events to count out.
Sons of Anarchy “Huang Wu” By the Numbers:
Scenes of a Naked Jax Fighting with a Clothed Tara in a Brothel: 1
Scenes of Tigg Wearing Silk Boxer Shorts With a Cheerful Skull and Crossbones Pattern: 1
Scenes of a Gun Wielding Tara: 3
Scenes of Happy with Great Dexterity Eating Chinese Food With Chopsticks While One Hand is Handcuffed to a Radiator: 1